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Quick Sketches - Themed Architecture

Updated: Jan 26, 2021

Ideas are easy to come around, implementing them is where they become validated. One of the first steps in a business development meeting where we get a sense of the scope of a project is to get the project visualized. In the themed entertainment industry it is common at this point to already physical dimensional space where the project is going to be built and a budget for it. From those parameters, a designer would begin creating loose sketches showing how the agreed-upon ideas could be incorporated. This process allows all the people involved in the project regardless of their deign background to get a sense of the scale of the space and compare it to their mind expectations.

Below is an example of a loose sketch showing the scale and a bit of storytelling to portray the feeling of being there.

Often, the process of building a concept has parallel development pipelines. One line looks at the architecture of the space and addresses how the project would be engineered and constructed. Another line follows the scenic design, which includes the materials used, props whether they are usable like a post lamp or decorative like a giant beer. There is also signage which with the use of colour and typeface may allude a time period, and a fourth line brings all the elements together in a cohesive story to promote the identity of the project.

The conceptual process is not always linear, lots of revisions, time and budget constrain modify the project in multiple directions before ever settling down in an agreeable upon the package. The following example below shows a perfect example of a client requesting "one of its leading stores be brought out to the front of the venue and incorporating lights to attract more customers".

As mentioned before, parallel lines of conceptual development are there to support each other. What a catastrophe would be to approve a drawing of an amazing roller coaster to later find riders would hit their heads on an electrical pole because we forgot to draw the mechanical equipment in the sketch. To safeguard the process, it is standard in the industry to use 3D models to make sure the actual dimensions are being used for design.

In order to drive the concept through the finish line, it is customary to bring a sense of reality or aspiration to the sketch, and colour is a wonderful tool to inspire those emotions. In this particular case, the client needed to differentiate their venue from other establishments by promoting it would operate after-hours offering a reason for an adult demographic to come to visit the site and enjoy drinks while watching the sunset.

In order to find the right emotional tone to sell the venue's idea, normally a few color studies are created to discuss the different moods the place should sell. Try to see if you can decipher what those emotions are.

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